Day 2–Lespinassière to Castans

Via the Cun de San Marti, 10 km, 600 m of ascent, 440 m of descent. A hot day with steep climbs, the hardest day of the five.

Jane joined us for the day at the Fournil de l’Espic. We hiked down into l’Espinassière, overshot the turn-off, then hooked back for a very steep climb through the forest, which continued until lunchtime. Jez was the only person who continued to talk all the way up. We lost the trail once in the woods, and Rob found it for us again.

We had lunch at the Cun de San Marti, with baguettes, ham, cheese, and two tins of pate. The heather was in bloom, orange on pink. We hiked down into the Castans valley, past some horses which Amy smooched with, and dowsed ourselves at a laverie in the first village. We passed some marvelous ruined gardens at hameau de Quintaine where Amy and Bill ate wild cherries. Got our first view of the wind turbines above Cabrespine.

We had a final climb back up to Castans, where our food was delivered by a woman of the village who was helping Roland (who was sick). We “borrowed” some beers and white wine and sat out on the terrace, finishing off the delicious serrano ham from lunch. The menu was tarte au poireaux and roquefort, blanquette de veau in a stew on rice, cheese and fruit.

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